Making The Rounds - Ken Brown

Saving the dates

This Saturday past I was a judge at both the Fall Festival Community Pie Contest and  the Battle of the Bartenders. The Pie Contest was held at Sonoma Garden Park and for those who have not been to the Garden Park in a while, it’s gone through an amazing transformation. I strongly suggest you visit at 19996 Seventh Street East. After tasting 19 pies I have had my fill of pies for at least a year! For more information on Sonoma Garden Park go to

The Battle of the Bartenders produced by the Native Sons of the Golden West Sonoma Parlor #111 and the American Legion Post #489 was a joyous, raucous and very successful event. I tasted three alcohol-fueled concoctions with the secret ingredient of paprika and voted for the one I thought was the best. Being an ‘old guy’ I made it an early evening and went gratefully home. Go to and for more information on these two stellar organizations.

The Nature & Optic Festival is this Sunday, October 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cornerstone Sonoma, and is sponsored by Sonoma Birding. It features 10 leading binocular companies with experts, nine great nature artists, 30 significant Bay Area nature non-profits. This is a family event, and is free with free parking. Cornerstone Sonoma is located at 23570 Arnold Drive and for more information go to

The Jewish Winemakers Tasting & Nosh is Sunday October 27, 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building. This year they are featuring Matzo Ball Shooters. Brought to you by Congregation Shir-Shalom Sonoma. Please go to for more information.

The 2nd Annual Sonoma Chili Cook-Off, a fundraiser for the local Meals on Wheels Association, is set for Saturday, October 26, Noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Carneros Brewing Company. From classic con carne to chili verde and everything in between, there will be something to please every chili-loving palate, so join in the fun and help select Sonoma’s best chili. Co-sponsors of this annual event are the locally owned and operated Sonoma Gourmet Specialty Food Company and Carneros Brewing Company. This year’s judges include John Toulze, managing partner and executive chef at the Girl and the Fig; Jesus Ceja, brewmaster at Carneros Brewing Company; and Sue Holman and Susan Weeks, co-directors of Meals on Wheels of Sonoma. The public will select the People’s Choice award winner. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged for Meals on Wheels. Carneros Brewery beer and soft drinks will be available for purchase. Chili-entry spots are going fast, but a few are still available. The fee to enter your chili in the competition is $25. For more information, please contact Roger Declercq at

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